In order to maintain a healthy environment for everybody to share and feel safe in doing so, we do ask that anybody joining our meetings adhere to a few simple rules. The rules are explained fully in the Changes Bristol Handbook which you’ll receive at your first meeting. But in summary, Changes members must:
- Share in Changes goal of mental health - you must attend because you want to improve your mental health.
- Support the facilitators who run the meeting - facilitators are not separate from the meeting but are a part of the meeting and will also share and talk about their feelings, and therefore all members should support the facilitators and help the meetings stay on track.
- Respect each others’ right not to be identified or acknowledged outside the meeting - due to stigma and prejudice some members would prefer to remain anonymous and their wishes should be respected.
- Adhere to Changes Confidentiality Policy - "Whatever is said in the room stays in the room". Nothing discussed in the meetings should be mentioned outside the meetings.
- Be respectful of one another and non-disruptive. Try not to cross talk over each other; please be non-discriminatory (regarding gender, race, sexuality etc). Suspend harsh judgement and accept individual lifestyles and beliefs.
Although an allowance is made for individual symptoms, members whose behaviour is disrupting the meeting and upsetting fellow members, will be asked to leave.
- Be mindful of the questions you are asking or the advice you are giving - We must be mindful of the advice we give from our own experience. We do not wish to put undue pressure on individuals or be prescriptive in our advice.
- Try to avoid mentioning any third party in an identifiable manner - It is unfair to mention thrid parties in an identifiable manner when talking about friends, GP's etc
- It is advisable to consult your doctor / the prescriber of your medication regarding any changes to medication arising from discussions in the meeting - we never provide advice on specific medication and we would always urge members to consult and discuss their medictation with their prescriber, making an informed choice, and not making unilateral decisions
- Exercise caution in disclosing personal information to other members - like phone numbers. It is perfectly normal to make friendships in the meetings, but people should be minded to be cautious giving out too much personal information when first meeting people.
- Try not to refer to medication by brand or chemical name - Instead of referring to brand names like Prozac etc use generic terms like antidepressant, mood stabilizer, tranquilizer etc. This is because people will have different reactions to the same medication. We do not want conversations about medication to influence members to make changes to their own personal medication usage without consulting their prescriber.
Please note, our meetings are for adults only, so you need to be over 18 years of age to attend.